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Entries in rays (3)

Friday
Apr062012

A-Rod vs. Shields

MLB Offense from March 30, 2011 - April 14, 2011 (click to enlarge)

Through the first two weeks of the 2011 season, A-Rod was mashing. He faces a tough pitcher today in James Shields. Shields' curve has become one of his most effective pitches; opposing batters have a swing-and-miss rate of 30.8% against it since the start of 2011.

Rodriguez has struggled against curveballs, posting a .284 wOBA on the pitch in 2011. If Shields can get ahead of A-Rod in the count, the Yankees third baseman should see a heavy dose of them.

Wednesday
Oct132010

Cliff's Cutter

During last night's TBS broadcast, Ron Darling commented on how well Cliff Lee had commanded his cutter. Here's a look at the heatmap: Pitch frequency of Cliff Lee's cutter in Game 5 against the Rays (38 pitches).By comparison, here's Game 1: Pitch frequency of Cliff Lee's cutter in Game 1 against the Rays (13 pitches). Interesting note: In Game 1, Cliff Lee threw only one cutter to a lefty. In Game 5, 16 of his 38 cutters were thrown to lefties.
Monday
Oct112010

Cliff Lee's Game One

On October 6, Cliff Lee pitched 7 great innings against the Tampa Bay Rays earning the Texas Rangers a win in Game 1 of the ALDS.  He struck out 10, walked 1, and yielded one run on a HR to Ben Zobrist.  He held Rays batters to a .185/.185/.333 line and a .261 wOBA (when factoring in SB/CS weights).

Cliff Lee's Pitch Frequency to Lefties in Game OneCliff Lee's Pitch Frequency to Righties in Game One

 While the numbers indicate that Lee dominated Rays hitters, Tampa Bay did have a few chances to put more runs on the board.  In the first inning, the Rays had the bases loaded with one out before Lee struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning unscathed.  In fact, Lee managed to strike out 5 batters in the 7 PAs in which he faced runners in scoring position.

Rays batters also squared up Lee's fastball fairly well, scattering five line drives throughout the game.  Fortunately for Lee, 4 of those 5 line drives were caught for outs.  In 2010, Lee had a LD% of 16.5%, slightly below his career rate of 19%.  In Game One, those 5 line drives resulted in a LD rate of 24.5%.  Small sample size, of course, but Lee certainly benefited from a slightly lower than average BAbip (.250) in the first game of the series.  Should the Rays hitters manage to cut down on their strike outs in Game 5, a correction in BAbip may result in increased scoring opportunities against Lee.